The 90 Illini #88: Brad Janitz June 5, 2012
6′-5″, 215 lbs.
rs-Soph (walkon, 3 years to play 3)
Walnut Hills HS / Cincinnati, OH
ALE Ranking last year: 63
What I Know About Him:
I had Janitz at #63 last year because we didn’t know who the starting punter would be. If (then) true freshman scholarship punter Justin DuVernois wasn’t up to the task, Janitz had a shot at the starting punting job. This year, I’m dropping him down to #88, mostly because DuVernois is the likely starter, so backup walkon specialists should be ranked in the 80′s. But again, God forbid, backup specialists are one rolled ankle from starting.
I hesitate to lower his ranking for one reason: his parents. I met his mom at the spring game in 2011; I chatted with both his mom and his dad after the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in December. They’re such nice people that I feel this desire to rank their son 19th and claim him to be our future punter, kicker, holder, and left guard. Some writers get too close to coaches and struggle to criticize; I’m a sucker for parents. So sorry to drop your son’s ranking, Janitz’s (Janitzes? Janitzs?) – you know I’m pulling for him to win the starting job. At least until I meet the DuVernois family.
What I Expect From Him:
Practicing every week like he’s going to be the starter. With Justin DuVernois having a case of the dropsies last year, there’s a chance one of the other punters (Janitz or Garrett Stroup) pushes him for the job. So I’m hoping both of them continue to get stronger and longer and fight for playing time.
Punting, to me, is like golf. I can go to the driving range and bomb a driver. I step up to the tee with 3 buddies watching and a foursome sitting in their carts watching, and I can guarantee I’ll hit a weak worm-burner 133 yards. So if I was a punter, and I was standing on my own goal line, and there were 10 Wisconsin players bearing down, I guarantee I’d close my eyes and let out a little yelp while kicking the ball 23 yards.
So that’s my goal for Janitz. No yelping while kicking the ball 23 yards. Bombs. So many bombs that Tim Beckman and Tim Salem have a decision on their hands.